Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Wind Chimes and Oreos

Found in the toe of Geoff's right boot this morning:
- Melly's mylar ball
- Melly's wine cork

Silly kitten.

This morning, she jumped from the kitchen table to the kitchen windowsill and discovered the usually silent wind chimes.

video

On an unrelated subject, one of my guilty pleasures is Newman O's with peanut butter. (I switched from Oreos because Newman O's make me feel marginally less guilty when I eat them.) I did try the peanut butter version once, but there's really nothing like a dollop of crunchy peanut butter on top of the classic black-and-white cookie.

As you can imagine, I was very excited when I came across Smitten Kitchen's homemade Oreo recipe the other day. SK's original recipe is below with my notes in italics.


For the chocolate wafers:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa (I used regular unsweetened cocoa and it worked fine)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar (If you make the cookies separately for another purpose, I'd go with the 1 1/2 cups of sugar. For the Oreos, one cup is plenty since the filling is pretty sweet.)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg

For the filling:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375°F. (Even if you bake only occasionally, an inexpensive oven thermometer is a great thing to have. You'd be amazed how many ovens run more than 25°F hot or cold.)

In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.

Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. (Mine were more like rounded tablespoons, so I ended up with bigger cookies. Fine by me!) With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheet on a rack to cool. (I moved the cookies to a rack as soon as they'd hardened so I could use the baking sheet again.)

To make the cream, place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy.

To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip, pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie. (I used a small spatula instead of a pastry bag; a butter knife or a spoon would probably work fine too.) Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream.

Dunk generously in a large glass of milk.

Or serve with peanut butter.

12 comments:

Anne Boleyn said...

Well done on ALL counts: boots, chimes and cookies!
THANKS!

Sue said...

Most people who know me also know that I feel very strongly that chocolate and peanut butter is the best combination of anything ever.

Not only that, you have an awfully cute kitten.

G said...

Melly and Natalie's cookies:

Similarities: Black and white, sweet.

Differences: Cookie does not knock over plants.

Anonymous said...

Geoff should be honored that Melly shared her mylar ball and wine cork with him. She must really love him to let him have her favorite things.

Moose Ridge said...

Your girls are lovely, thank you for sharing them with us out here in cyberspace!

Is there anywhere else better to store your toys than in a human's shoe? That way, you know where they are, you'll get to play with them again when they toss them, LOL!!

I guess my thought would be, why bother with the cream, just fill them with peanut butter??!

Allison
Dunlap TN

Natalie said...

Sue: I was just telling Melly the other day that she is the cutest kitten in the history of kittens. She seemed to agree. Also, chocolate and peanut butter is THE BEST.

Allison: I don't know what it is about the cream and the peanut butter... maybe the sweetness of the cream compensates for the unsweetened peanut butter I use. Either way, I think both are necessary :)

Geoff said...

"Anonymous" you said it! It was a fairly comedic episode as I started to put on my boot, pulled it off, extracted the cork, pulled the boot back on and exclaimed, "something else?" pulled the boot back off, extracted the ball, rooted around for anything else then FINALLY was able to successfully put on my boot. Noteworthy: there was a green stone next to my boot, possibly another gift that missed.

Geoff said...

Also, that last comment was written with Melly on my shoulder (except for when she'd decided to descend from that perch to lay on my keyboard). She's contentedly purring on my shoulder now.

Amy and The House of Cats said...

Yep, shoe presents are great. I especially like getting purse presents at work.

And Melly is so cute with the chimes! Although hopefully she gets tired of them quickly. Can you imagine that in the middle of the night!

And thanks for the recipe. I haven't had oreos with peanut butter before but hmm, the grocery store is on my way home....

Sue said...

Found in a boot that I pulled on one morning many years ago - a live mouse. Very alive.

Kitty had brought it in the night before and we couldn't find it..

Natalie said...

Sue: a LIVE MOUSE?!?! I had a mini freakout just thinking about it - I can't even imagine actually finding one in my boot! And here I thought it was bad when Scarlett brought a stunned bird into the living room.

Sue said...

Yeah, the poor little dude thought he'd found the perfect hiding place.

After flinging the boot across the room with a shriek (it felt all squiggly), I carefully brought it outside and set him free.

No worse for wear. So to speak.